…In Your Own Skin - By Jeannette Walls
I have these big old nasty scars on my torso. I was burned while trying to cook for myself at age three because no one else would, and for a long time I was ashamed of those scars, not just because they were ugly, but because they reminded me of my childhood, of scrounging for food and fending for myself. I had long kept quiet about that past, even after I’d achieved some success. But when I started dating a man named John who had a comfortable upbringing, I figured I’d better warn him in case he ever saw me naked.
“Don’t ever apologize for your scars,” John said. “They’re a sign that you survived, and that you are tougher than whatever it was that tried to hurt you.”
“I’m just sorry that I’m not smooth like most people,” I said.
“Smooth is boring,” he said. “You’ve got texture.”
I ended up marrying John, and he convinced me to confront my past by writing a memoir. I expected my story to be met with disgust and ridicule, but people actually described it with words like admirable and inspirational. Seeing myself through their eyes – texture and all – helped me realize that this past that had for so long shamed me was actually a hard-earned gift, if I was willing to receive it. Once, I told a group of readers that story about John’s insisting that I had texture.
Afterward, an elegant woman came up to me, diamonds flashing on her hands. “Sweetie, there is no such thing as smooth,” she said. “You look close enough, silk’s got texture.”
She’s so right. We all have our texture. Some of us are lucky enough to have the silky texture, and some of us are lucky enough to have texture that’s a little rougher.
Confidence doesn’t come from thinking that you’re perfect or flawless. That’s arrogance. Confidence comes from appreciating the beauty of your texture.
Jeannette Walls is the author of The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel.
(Material is from the article The Seven Different Kinds of Confidence Every Woman Needs, Glamour Magazine)